WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: A woman has issued a warning about the dangers of sun beds after she was left with a hole in her forehead from skin cancer.
Keri Lynn Noble, 29, from the US state of Ohio, was a frequent sun bed user and enjoyed the sunshine in general, until she noticed the odd looking scab on her forehead.
"I was first diagnosed in 2016 when I noticed a scab on the forehead that wouldn’t heal,” she said.
"With the brush of my T-shirt or when I washed my face the scab always would open up, and that’s when I knew something was wrong.
"I work on cruise ships so I had to wait until I was home to see my family’s skin doctor - he determined it was a basal cell carcinoma and it needed to be removed.”
Ms Noble said her condition wasn’t directly caused by sun beds, but by a mix of sun overexposure.
The 29-year-old had been using sun beds since the age of 16 as it was something all girls her age was doing.
"I was a cheerleader for my high school and I always wanted to look tanned in my uniform,” she said.
"Throughout high school I was using the tanning beds more and more; all the girls on the cheerleading team wanted to be tanned before the football and basketball games and before any school and dances too.”
"As I was still in the public eye a lot, I wanted to make sure I looked like the complete package."
She was diagnosed in 2016 and underwent MOHS surgery which is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer.
During MOHS surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.
"I was upset when they had to perform the first MOHS surgery,” Ms Noble said.
"I remember growing up my mother always talked to me about skincare and how skin cancer runs in the family but I would just brush it off and tell her I have more of my father's skin type.
"The wound healed up nicely after the surgery and for two years I thought I was in the clear until I saw the scab reappear in the same place on my forehead.”
Unfortunately in 2018 the cancer returned and Ms Noble had to undergo a second MOHS surgery.
"At that time I was extremely scared as I thought the whole piece was removed and now it was back,” Ms Noble said.
"This time during the MOHS procedure, the doctor had to go back in five times to remove layers of skin.
“The tiny skin cancer had doubled in size and turned into a tumour the size of a golf ball.
"At this point he looked at me and said I have to be sent to a plastic surgeon."
Ms Noble went on to see a plastic surgeon who she said “made miracles happen”.
The surgeon closed up the golf ball sized tumour on the woman’s forehead by moving and stretching the skin from her eyebrow to connect with the skin on her hairline.
"I was so pleased everything went to plan and that he was able to do the procedure,” she said.
"They didn’t think it was even possible, but he made it happen.
"For about two months I had one eyebrow lifted about two inches from the other, but now it has been five months and my eyebrow is almost the back to normal - you can hardly even tell I had the procedure."
Following her ordeal, Ms Noble now takes all measures to ensure she is protected from sun damage and is advising others to do the same.
"I now never leave the house without sunscreen and a cute hat,” she said.
"While the sun is something keeping everyone on earth alive, it affects each and everyone of us when we are overexposed.
"Everyone these days are trying to look the best they can look and sun tan is often associated with that.
"If we are eating healthy and keeping our bodies healthy - we need to make sure we keep our skin healthy too."
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